Tuesday, May 31, 2011

the art of cramming A LOT into a weekend.


I feel battered.

Remember how I was all amped up and ready to fall out of my desk chair on Thursday because I was going camping with my friends for Memorial Day and we were going to braid each other's hair and tell spooky ghost stories around the campfire and rage on the river like total banshees?

That happened, and it was worth the stress breakouts, and we'll get to it later or tomorrow or something.

What I failed  to mention was the fact that when I got back from said camping trip with a car of damp everything, hair reeking of some inexplicable river-campfire smoke combo, and a collective good times-hangover, I had to move.

As in change address, completely pack up my possessions in their entirety and peace out.

And THAT is how I spent my free Monday off of work.

You'd think that the extensive practice I've had lugging my crap from one corner of the country to another would improve my skill and ability to move successfully, but that would be false. Alas, I am virtually inept at such things.

The truth of the matter is that I make it not a very big deal in my head so that I don't FREAK OUT and then when I'm faced with the monstrosity of the task, completely unprepared mind you, I go into warrior mode and start throwing shit into boxes, unceremoniously throwing things away, lifting and lugging things much too heavy for me, and banging my body into things in the process.

I"m strained, bruised, and so, SO sore.

Don't get me wrong, this weekend was the best kind of wonderful. I got to spend time with the ladies living off the land and preparing food over open flames. We blared music and had cocktails and all slept in the same tent. I fucking love sleepovers. I caught some sun on my shoulders and my cheeks have finally reunited with that rosy glow that only true summer sun can bring out. I got to be pampered by my ever-impressive Manfriend with a culinary masterpiece topped off with homemade dessert and a thoughtfully DVRed few episodes of Mob Wives. He even bought my favorite champagne. And willingly gave me a back rub. WITH OIL. I couldn't make this stuff up, I swear. Either that or it was an awesome and incredibly vivid sun-induced fantasy.

But, I also may or may not have forgotten which bra I was wearing when we set up camp on Friday afternoon and collapsed into my cubicle this morning only to realize I was rampant with the odor of sweat and campfire.

Um, I moved yesterday? I have NO idea where anything is because once again I've failed to commit to living in one place and thus all my stuff is pretty much scattered anywhere I could see myself spending an odd night or two? I don't know what the word HOME even means?!!

Thankfully I was able to jet over to Meijer and purchase myself a fresh brassiere during lunch. I changed into it in the store restroom and I can safely say that I've never felt a sense of urgency to willingly place myself into a public restroom environment so strongly.

I feel better and have an entirely different outlook on life now that I don't smell like I cooked in sweat juices over a camp fire all weekend. Although, I'm now questioning the likelihood of me ever becoming an adult. You know, since I show up to work in dirty clothes now and all.

I've got one more carload to go on the moving front and I honestly will not rest until it is finished now, 95 degree record highs BE DAMNED. I'm not letting this take up any more time than is humanly possible.

I think a nice, loooooong, swim will be in order this eve. Yahtzeeeeeee.

Xo Sara

**Side note, I've recently launched a new blog. Buttttttttt, I'll probably still be writing mostly on this one. Blah blah blah- privacy and stuff. Email if you're interested and we'll get you hooked up with some underbelly that leaves my identity feeling a little more safely anonymous.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

i'm having stress-breakouts in anticipation of tomorrow.

Last summer my birthday-weekend plans were thwarted by two of my friends' restaurant industry jobs. If you've ever been fortunate enough to experience working at any restaurant, then you're fully aware of the near-impossibility of securing an entire weekend off. Plus, you usually miss out on a shit-ton of potential tip dollars.

Whatever, two of the crew had to cancel at the last minute, and that left Erin and I and a handle of Jim Beam. I was feeling bummy about it, but not completely defeated, so we decided to embark on an adventure that cut down a bit on the originally planned eight hour journey to my childhood lake home.

Basically, I was sitting at work in the very same cubicle I'm sitting in now, feeling kind of pissy and sort of like I was all dressed up with no place to go, but rather all amped up for a camping trip on the beach and no one to split the gas money with, and I decided that I was still going camping goddamnit.

I sort of grinded my teeth in determination and typed in the Google url. Fuck this, I'm still having a bomb-ass birthday and drinking a shitload of Beam on some body of water, somewhere.

"Indiana canoe camping river rage fun drunk"

Or something like that is what I typed in and hit enter.

And this little beauty was the first hit:


Um, sold. Well, actually I just didn't feel like shopping around and their camping policies were reeeeeally lax, so that is how Whitewater Canoe Rentals became the lucky winner and eventually the greatest place on earth.

The next day was Friday and I had taken off work in advance. Erin worked for the state at the time, which basically meant she showed up inconsistently and no one ever noticed. We departed around eleven in the morning with a cig to the wind and a prayer in our hearts. AKA we were basically completely unprepared for the events to follow.

Brookville Bound.

The website for this business doesn't provide any sort of street address or really any sort of guidance for the weary traveler. On instinct alone, (and several phone calls to my father for assistance) we landed on the Whitewater River early into the afternoon. The place looked pretty deserted. As in not a single human was milling around. It was a Friday in July. The fact that no one was around could have alarmed us, but it didn't. What it lacked in patrons, this place made up for in character, the place was brimming with it. And also flooded with the carcasses of faded, rotting, life-jackets.

What we pulled up to can probably only be described as a shack, or shanty. It's basically an old-ass pile of wood with a hand-painted sign that says "office." Erin and I looked at each other quizzically and then she hopped out of the car and approached the counter. As I followed, we were greeted by an old-ass man with bright-white hair and reaaaaaaaally rough-looking hands. Like, river rough. I'm not sure what that means, but stay with me.

you have now arrived in heaven: welcome. 

He seemed to have the authority to charge us ten bucks a pop for the campsite and rent us a canoe for the day for thirty dollars. Uhhh, okay? (Cut to me scriblbling my name on the waiver after a brief skim-job.) Old Man River (OMR) walked us sloooowly down to the camping area, which he decribed as "primitive." Basically no one else had set up camp for the weekend yet, so we had the pick of the place. After collaborating on the decision like the indecisive bitches we are, we selected a site with a some trees and foliage boundary/privacy that backed up directly to the river. I'm not kidding when I say we picked the bombest ass place in the world to camp.

So OMR wanders back up to the 'office' and we're left to take it all in- and we both just let loose shit-eating grins. We're nodding, we're grabbing gear that's shrewn everywhere out of the Jeep. It's fucking on. Yes, it's just the two of us camping in a remote and unfamilar place with only one known human in the area who looks like he could crush entire skulls with his bare hands, but we've embarked past the point of no return.

About two minutes later we've both got stiff whiskey drinks in hand and blue grass setting the mood as we start making camp struggle to figure out a tent that's CLEARLY missing a pole. It's one of those dream-beautiful days of summer that you just want to hide inside all year round. Yadda Yadda Yadda, another drink gets poured, more stuff get's unpacked, sunscreen gets haphazardly applied. At one point I brazenly changed my clothes with nothing shielding me but an open car-door. That's how empty this place was.

We quickly discovered that Brookville is like entering a time-warp. Suddenly everything is on your own time. Which, I really think is how things should be all the time, but apparently it's unrealistic to ask the rest of the world to wait for my instructions to go through the daily hum-drum. Whatever. It's Brookville. Time's moving slow, the weather is perfect, and we're about to haul-ass down a river in a steel bullet of a vessel. Fuck. Yes.

We finally start seeing other hooligans walking around and making their way down the river to push off and start making an effort to head that way. We eventually get our shit together and pack provisions for the eight mile water-trip. AKA we threw some beer in the cooler, whiskey in a water bottle, and grabbed our sunglasses. In about .5 seconds we approach the launch site and are greeted by the most impressive display of abdominal muscles I have ever seen on a human male. BUT WAIT. 

He has an identical twin. 

I swear to everything good in this world that those abs could have washed the towel I failed to bring with me on the trip. 


So obviously we now feel like we're in good hands and we snap on the newest-looking life jackets we can find, grab matching paddles, and join the growing pack.

We push off and I'm at stern because obviously I have to be in control and I've got years more experience with water-crafts than Erin. Not that it mattered. The next two hours can only be described accurately with two words.

 Shit show. 

Flip flops were broken, alcohol was consumed at an alarming rate, languid swims were taken, beaches were peed on, eight miles was covered. It was perfect. 


And before you go all judge-y on my ass, let me go ahead and say that I'm fully aware how unsafe mixing water and booze is. Ok? I'm sorry. It was a grand idea at the time. Everything turned out okay. We survived and thrived and actually steering the boat was probably the least challenging task I mastered through the entire trip. Alright? Ever tried to mix a drink while getting swept down a river? Relax. I'm a lifeguard. 

So we complete the route and life is slightly fuzzy for us both. We have no towels- because we're geniuses, obvioously. . Everything in our lives is soaked with river-water. It's probably five thirty in the afternoon at this point. We're both a little sun-worn and definitely hammered drunk. Our ride picks us up in a sketchy looking white van and I insist on sitting in the front seat despite visible discomfort and the driver having to shuffle some important-looking papers around off the seat. 

Erin and I just had the time of our lives, we were probably glowing more than a goddamn virgin bride. 

We quickly learn through semi-invasive drunken questioning that the driver, Cody, is OMR's SON. They own Wonderland aka Whitewater Canoe Rentals TOGETHER.  And thus starts a very beneficial friendship between us and him. AKA we chat for a minute and a half about Leonard Cohen and listen to him talk about his Chemistry degree briefly and then he gives us FREE PASSES to canoe the next day. FREE SHIT. Cody also hooks us up big time by bringing firewood to our campsite with a backhoe, helping us start a fire, and basically doing anything we say... aka driving us to the gas station for cigarettes.**

We get back to the campsite and I basically do a head-first dive into the tent and pass out for what I would imagine in real-life time frames would equate to roughly two hours. it felt like 15 minutes. I am awoken by this:


Erin's eating raw shit and now I'm sober enough to feel comfortable with more camping activities. It's pretty much perfect. Blah blah blah, we tinker around and eventually balance each other out sobriety-wise and venture down to the river. We 'swim' which basically involves just lying in about 8 inches of water and getting pulled downstream kind of strongly. Whatever, it's so magical that it doesn't matter. 

Fire gets started, music gets played. People show up. Actual cooked hot dogs are consumed. And a lot of other stuff.  It's a lot of getting back to earth, or as Erin has been saying for a week and a half now, getting back to basics. AND IT'S ALL GOING DOWN AGAIN TOMORROW. 


Erin and I leave at 11 am. 


Basically, the other half of our original group no longer works at restaurants and are DEFINITELY coming as we embark on our journey to kick off summer number two on the river in style.  I'm borderline worried for our health, because as much blatant disregard Erin and I can have for societal convention, I'm boiling with excitement thinking about adding two more to the mix. 

Thank GOD I'm a lifeguard. I hope you're weekend is just as drunk, sloppy, ridiculous, friend-filled and laughter-inducing. 

 Oh, and if you ever get the chance, hit up Brookville. Tell 'em Sara and Erin sent you. They'll know who you mean.

XO Sare

** I know the cigarettes thing is nasty, and I do apologize. This trip was clearly before I kicked that habit and moved on to lead a fit, exercise-ridden life. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

thanks, part 2.

First of all, I went and saw Bridesmaids last night with my friend Erin. Hilarious, seriously. Everyone knew I thought it was hilarious too, because I'm the loudest theater-laugher known to man. Let me just go ahead and say I'm sorry in case we're even in the same theater together. I'm sorry.  Now I feel the overwhelming compulsion to start quoting the movie, ("Hey, fuck buddy!") but that would be lame because those who haven't seen it yet won't get my random quoting out of context like that, which I realize because I'm not a guy. And really, I'm feeling a tad too lazy to provide context notes today. Sorr.

Also hilarious, my luck. It was five dollar movie night, and I was damn right thrilled when the downtown $$$$ (yes, that denotes PRICEY) movie theater didn't rape my bank account. Apparently this five dollar movie holler happens every Tuesday. Color me impressed, I'll be back (on a Tuesday), you gem of a place.

Anyway, despite the hilarity of everything, I arrived home feeling a little "Oh, shit." About the movie. Because damn it, it's funny because it's true. And it's hilarious because I totally can be that girl in the movie, failing professionally, not fixing her car, and getting a little jealous/nutzoid of bitches tryna move in on her friends. And fuck, does life throw protagonist lady number one some unfortunate curve-balls. And a cute and uncannily patient/thoughtful cop. With an accent.  But also, curveballs.

Anyway, in honor of the movie and OMG BESTIES, the Thank You note feature will live on another week, and I'm writing this week to my very own best friend 4evz, Courtney. She lives in Montana and works for Glacier National Park and is pretty much the bad ass-est person I know. This may get lengthy, fair warning.


I'm going to jump right in here and everything may get kind of disorganized, but I'm not too worried about it because you always seem to be able to sift through the bullshit and understand my point. This is a thank you note, by the way, so just bear with me. Oh yeah, thank you for always getting me. Also, I'm taking it there; that's right, let's get emotional.

Court, thank you for being yourself, always and no matter what. Yourself is just so fucking cool. I remember meeting you at the start of my freshman year in the dorms.  My roomates were a gaggle of freaks and the other girls on my floor tanned a lot, spent large portions of time making door signs for any marginally good-looking guy that lived in our building, and studied too much. (probably studied the correct amount.) You were cool, you had listened to good music since middle school when I was just trying to dip my toes in, you laughed really loud, you didn't hold back. I bet it probably pissed the tanorexics off when you started dating the hottest guy in the building two weeks into the year. But whatever, that's not even a reason I liked you, I just think it's funny. We forged this friendship of something larger than life on adventures like stealing chairs from bars, busting bottles in the street, hanging out at the Ag frat, and smuggling Keystone into the rodeo on a whim. Basically, not giving a good goddamn what anyone else was doing, we were working on our own agenda. You were the first person to call out the fact that in college you felt like you were making drinking buddies instead of friends, and it woke me up, made me want to change that fact, I'm so grateful you did.

You never try too hard, which I admittedly find myself doing at times, and the most interesting people just gravitate towards you. Thanks for gravitating towards me, you're one of the only people I know who is unshakably sure of who you are at all times, and it means so much to me. When I'm just going with the flow, playing along with a conversation to look informed/in the know/not so goddamn naive, you're ready to call it to a halt and ask for more information. You never just pretend to get what's going on for the sake of looking better, you're genuinely interested in finding out. I love that about you. Plus, you're not afraid to seek things out for yourself. You'll decide to be interested in something and become so passionate and informed about it, that I can't help but be interested and invested in it too, I know so much more about the world because of you.

Thank you for following your dreams along the less-beaten path that they've led you. That summer you worked in Idaho for the forest service and I worked as a kayaking instructor in New Hampshire changed everything for you, didn't it? When you got back you were already geographically fixed to another point, a westward one. I'd known you'd head west for a while before that, but you'd finally hit the breaking point you needed in order to just leap. If Ryan was good for nothing else, he was good for giving you an opportunity to head out there with someone to tether to, if only briefly. It blows my mind how unattached you are to stuff. You have always had so much more perspective on what is necessary to carry than I do. I feel so much gratitiude towards you for really making me question what things I need to be happy, and why I am so goddamn materialistic at times. But that doesn't mean I'm going to stop paying two hundred dollars for jeans that make my ass look better than unicorns sailing majestically across a rainbow-covered sky, over a sea of champagne, because with jeans I really hold tight to the belief that you get what you pay for. Seriously, though, you've got this perspective on what you need that I wish I could duplicate in myself.

By November that year you were packing up, tying loose ends, leaving OSU. I remember once, a couple of years after that initial leap, you told me that the jump was the hardest part. But you just went ahead and did it, with what appeared to me as total focus, ease, and complete assurance. You packed up The Bull, that trusty 1990's Taurus station wagon, and left everything that didn't fit behind. I remember burning as many CDs as I possibly could from you the night before you left, printing out pictures of us, threatening Ryan over the phone with certain death if he hurt you. I didn't know what to say to calm us both down, it was such a greater risk than I think either of us had ever seen anyone we actually knew take. And then you were gone and I remained. It was a hard winter, but I was always mostly okay, even if I didn't have the guts to drop out of school and follow my dreams to wilder places, you sure as hell did. Thanks for that, and please don't ever feel the slightest bit guilty for leaving then, you allude to it occasionally, but I never felt it as a slight or a wedge between us. If anything, it cemented the fact of our best friend-ness to me. You're so brave, and you make me braver, you make me need more for myself by showing me that settling has never even crossed your mind. I miss having you near, but I feel better, stronger, like the world is in more perfect orbit, knowing you're where you should be, actively pursuing overwhelming joy. It inspires me to reach out and grab that for myself, even if I'm much slower going and more unsure of what will ultimately bring me contentment.

Thank you for making it work out there. God, it was a struggle at times, wasn't it? I know it must have been even harder than you let me know to move across the country on a dream and then have nearly everything go wrong. Through the Big C, a torn ACL, no health insurance, finding a way to get yourself back into school and getting your degree, all with no help from anyone else, you are so tough. I remember that first time I flew out to Bozeman to see you, we spent so much time driving around so I could take in all the beauty of your new home, it was just breathtaking. You'd just had surgery to remove the cancer they'd found in your ovaries, which is what had motivated my trip in the first place. I touched down expecting to find you sick and feeble and to need me to nurse you back to health- and instead we climbed a mountain the fourth day I was there. I'm sure it was painful, maybe excrutiating, but the Universe should just know nothing will ever be able to keep you from the mountains. You're so tough. You never lost sight of your ultimate goal and you gave your entire person to getting there, thanks for showing me what that looks like.

Thank you for being an excellent pen pal. And for not holding it against me when my letters are scarce. It's true, we go through long spans of time without speaking, but somehow you've always got a valid mailing address for letters to reach me. Thanks for keeping track of me, I know it's a feat at times. The words you write always jump right off the page at me, it's like I'm reading your mood and outlook at the time you wrote them. I get a thrill from seeing you and talking to you on the phone, but your letters are truly enthralling as well. It would have been easy for our friendship to fade as thousands of miles separate us, and have for more time than we were ever geographically close, but you're my person. The one who I never need to explain why I self-sabotage and let myself be crippled with fear. You always already know, I'm so glad for that. Even when we're not in touch, we're still in tune- that's important to me. You always make me feel relevant, even when we're dealing with completely different shit.

Thank you for being my best friend. Legitimate best. You encourage me to go with whims and follow my heart and do what's right for me. You listen to me, and I'm not saying other people don't listen to what I'm saying, but when I'm telling you the bullshit I can't get through in my head, you help me wade through it and come out in one piece on the other side. If I'm telling you about some fucked up dream I had or how I did something I'm not particularly proud of, you're not just going to take my side, you're going to understand what the fuck got me there to begin with. We can sit in a McDonalds, or sift through a thirft store, or climb a mountain together and the Courtney I get will be the same no matter what, I'm so thankful for that.

Thanks, my westward friend  for not being afraid to do what makes you feel the most full of life, and thank you so much for assuring me that I'm not selfish as I stumble down my own path to fulfillment. It means more to me than you'll ever know that you are confident in my ability to succeed. I can't wait for all that's to come, because in a friendship like ours, there's always a new pinnacle.

So there you go. I could keep writing for hours, probably, but I'm guessing you get the gist. You're the best ever. My best ever.  Next time we're in the same time and place we're having a Brand New dance party.

Thanks to you, I'm always striving to move in the right direction. Thank you.

Love Love Love you,


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

i was reeeeally loopy but now everything sucks.

I learned an important life lesson today. The hard way.

For the love of everything holy, Sara, don't think you're going to 'tough it out' and go back to work for a half day after a morning of major dental work and Novacaine shots. Or at least don't for one moment believe there won't be pain and suffering to the extreme.

When I left the dentist several hours ago now, I felt great. Half of my face was completely numb so I basically looked like I'd just suffered a stroke, but it was numb, so I was fine. In fact, on the phone with Manfriend after the appointment, I was what can probably only be described as 'downright giddy.'

I may have laughed hysterically for the majority of the conversation (at myself) and made statements like:


...as I was clearly operating a motor vehicle.

I was also cursing like a sailor, which isn't really that out-of-character, but to be honest the things that I was saying absolutely were. We're talking weird shit, plus I couldn't make myself stop calling Manfriend "Man." He really doesn't like that.

What's even better is the fact that apparently Novacaine makes me loose-lipped literally AND figuratively, so I went ahead and had a little confessional moment about something that I'd managed to keep quiet for five long years. 

About peeing my pants in broad daylight as a sophomore in college.

That shit was buried deep. Like, EPICENTER deep. Thank goodness I've got a bangin' rack with magical powers, like the ability to cause amnesia. He'll never bring that up again if he wants to motor boat my shit.

Good times.

But alas, no more fun, loopy, confessional Sara. I'm no longer entertained by the fact that I can put on chapstick and not spread it around because I can't operate my lips properly.


Now I'm actually in a great fucking deal of pain.

And stuck at the office. Away from anything to dull the ache. Except 200mg ibuprofen.

WHAT IS THE POINT OF 200mg?!!!!!!!!!!!!


XO Sara

Monday, May 23, 2011

i ran into A TON of worms yesterday.

As the warm summer rain started pounding my back yesterday afternoon, I only really had one thought in my head. I kept methodically sinking my hand-shovel into the increasingly wet earth, and with every repetitive movement, I felt it echo again and again.

I'd still rather be out here than inside anywhere.

The thunder rolled closer and my visibility started diminishing; it was really pouring now. Plus, I had marginally short white-printed shorts on that were getting soaked, and no underwear. (I really have no idea why I wasn't wearing underwear, I don't typically go commando- either I was feeling particularly free yesterday or I really needed to do laundry.) I finally gave into the thought "As much as I'd like to make friends with Manfriend's new neighbors... it's weird enough that I'm out here frolicking in the rain, I probably don't need to welcome attention to my nether-region on top of that."  It was time for a break.

I stepped up onto the porch out of the torrents of water falling from the sky for a moment and looked at my new garden. It's not much, really, about a six by eight foot plot.

But it's mine.

This need I have to plant seeds and till soil everywhere I go isn't out of the blue, I've grown up amid green thumbs and lush greenery. My mother and grandmother can damn near cram a stick into the ground and I swear in a week it'll be alive with purple blooms. I remember following my Nan around barefoot from my topsy-turvy toddler steps, learning which little leaves were weeds and how to pull them up from the roots. I never stood a chance, there's something about having plants growing around me that feels like home- especially when as a kid and home changed semi-frequently. Even since my first reign away from the comfort of my parents' roof, I've been coloring the world around me in blooms and lugging around potted plants for comfort, despite the fact that I can't seem to summon the desire to plant my own figurative heart-roots any one place.  

As my mind flashed through this sequence, I mentally lauded myself for learning what soothes my crazy.

Because I have a lot of crazy.

I stood there staring out into the rain and attempted to wipe a combination of sweat and fallen water off of my face, basically only managing to paint my forehead with dirt, but it didn't matter. I was just waiting for the showers to slow down long enough to finish planting everything, my mind was racing with a plan and an almost instinctual need to carry it to the end. Plus, the worms don't give a shit what I look like when I'm uprooting their whole worlds with new life-forces.

It wasn't long before the sun came back out, yesterday was one of those days that the forecast "Scattered Showers' comes from. I hurried to get back to transplanting, mapping, digging, and watering until everything felt right, until I was sure that everything would thrive and grow. When it was all over, I was covered in mud,  and happier than a goddamn bug in a rug.

It struck me as Manfriend opened the front door to examine my handiwork and caught sight of me, half-smirking, half shaking his head at me as if in frustration at an unruly child, that this is what I'm good at, this what I do, this is part of who I am.

I'm a freaking nut job when it comes to commitment, I'd sooner chew off one of my own limbs than agree to have myself planted in one place for the foreseeable future. I have an aversion to labels. I enjoy contradiction in character, like a giant question mark dicking on down the road. I'm terrified of being pigeon-holed into a group that will keep me from flowing on to another if it strikes me fancy.

But I can commit to this one. 

I am a gardener. 

I need the feeling of making things grow and prosper around me at all times. I need to get dirty and bend over until my back is stiff and map living colors in my mind. Gardening is the closest thing I have to therapy, an earth-shaking spiritual experience, or enlightenment. It lets me get dirty and gives me something beautiful to share with the world.

Planting things in soil gives me the AHA! moments I need, and through teaching me how to make things grow, it teaches me how to make me grow. I wish everyone a hobby that makes them feel so right.

Plus, it basically gives me a free pass to play in the mud, and I definitely don't hate that.

XO Sare

Thursday, May 19, 2011

a stench of epic proportions

My life is punctuated intensely by my strong sense of smell. It's a blessing and a curse, really. Like, a blessing that I can basically locate items based on odor alone, but a curse because it's really just one more thing in my life that I act like a freak about.

In fact, I would relate my olfactory skill to that of a bloodhound. Those fuckers can SMELL. Just like me. We actually have a lot in common. We have stellar smell sense, we're both good with children (I mean, kind of), terrible for allergies (aka their dander sends me into asthmatic fits) and...... that's pretty much it. Maybe someday (hopefully not) we'll be able to relate based on our wrinkly-ass faces. Except Bloodhounds look ADORABLE with wrinkles, the more the better, and I'm pretty sure I'd look terrifying.

oh my god, seriously? I want a pack of them to follow me around at all times until I get bored/annoyed with it.

So naturally, I need my surroundings to smell good and/or appropriate in order for my day to unfold peacefully. Don't get me wrong, I dig the shit out of scent- everything from the aroma of gasoline to the burnt-skin sweat-smell from a long day outside in the heat of summer. And all the happy, fresh, lovely smells we associate with girlishness have a place in my smell-heart too.

Lately, seriously turmoil in the smell arena. Something has gone seriously afuckingwry. Like, off the rails on the crazy train.

Why? Why the turmoil? Where is all the turmoil coming from?

A certain stench is messing with my happiness. We are in battle and thus far neither of us has pulled that proverbial red-flag.

I'm in a stink fight with Manfriend's new apartment.

It's really, really bad, trust me.

The first time I walked into Manfriend's new place was last Saturday. Twelve days ago. The stench I encountered nearly knocked me down. It was like someone had painted the place twice with cheap-ass paint, smoked an entire carton of cigarettes directly into the drying paint, peed on the carpet, and left while farting.

Being that I have a generally cheerful/whacked-out demeanor, I stepped up to the challenge casually, but with a spark of challenge in my eye. I just have to win.

Initially, I purchased a couple of air-fresheners at the Dollar Tree, and I got some deodorizing spray, the good shit, AIR WICK. I armed myself with bleach and scrub brushes and set off on my journey to redemption... the return of decent odor to the new apartment. There is a new breed of person living there now, the kind that have girlfriends who go batshit crazy when forced to inhale ridiculous smoke/paint hybrid smells whenever they come a-calling.

Since then it's been a relative blood bath.

AKA, I've scrubbed WITH BLEACH every surface I can get my little hands on in an honest attempt to rid the apartment of ungodly stench. MY FINGERS ARE TIRED FROM SCRUBBING.

On day five I visited with high hopes and upon arrival realized I had yet to achieve my goal. I arrived at work the next morning after sleeping over, hurried into my cubicle and caught a whiff of something.... disconcerting.


I had become a carrier. A carrier of the nasty, rank, apartment-smell. It was hanging onto my clothes and had woven itself through my hair. I literally couldn't move an inch without feeling like I was going to vomit all over my computer monitor. At lunch I doused myself in perfume and when I got back to work I tried not to make sudden movements that would encourage odor to waft.

On day seven I brought over several strong-smelling candles and LIT THEM ALL AT ONCE. This apartment is not large, normally I would be concerned about sensory overload. Plus, with a sense of smell as strong as I believe mine to be, I don't often find it appropriate to light candles often. Like, never. But whatever, my hopes were high.  No damn dice. The stench is relentless and unforgiving. Should I bring any of my possessions into it's grasp, they leave reeking of the apartment.

It's not working out.

By day nine, I'm getting relatively frantic about things. Every time I come over I'm opening every fucking window in the place, encouraging the stench to disperse. IT'S NOT DISPERSING. I purchase one of those machine air fresheners than crop-dusts the room automatically on a time-set. I instruct Manfriend to set this spritzing machine to the most frequent setting, nine minutes. This bitch is about to get a healthy dose of fresh linen and I don't even like the smell of fresh linen. Desperate times.

heavy artillery.

It's real.

Today is day twelve. I devised a plan for when I stay over to extinguish the stench on my person that involves leaving my things in my car as long as possible and showering in the morning before I leave. It's a pain in the ass, but at least I don't smell like ass. I'm tired, but I am not yet defeated. I will bring out the HEAVIEST artillery.

That's right, I'm taking it to the kitchen. A relatively unfamiliar land.


This is seriously my last resort, and yes, I realize how pathetic that is. I don't really find myself baking/cooking very often. Manfriend usually takes care of feeding us. It's his thing. You know, redeeming qualities and reasons I keep coming back and stuff. Plus his beard, but that's pretty much unrelated to the smell of his home at present time.

I. must. get. rid. of. the stench.

So, this weekend, I will undertake the task of FULL KITCHEN SMELL TAKEOVER. AKA, I'm going to fry bacon. Copious amounts of it. I'm going to cook things with garlic. What things? No fucking clue. Maybe I'll just throw garlic and olive oil in a frying pan on high heat and call it good. I'm crazy completely unskilled like that. THERE MAY BE CUPCAKES INVOLVED. Cupcakes, kinda just because I like them and the instructions on the box are thus far idiot-proof.

The time has come for the final battle. I will come out the victor.
Otherwise, sorry Manfriend, but you're dumped.

XO Sara.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

thanks. part 1.

Heyo, I've been writing like a lot of thank you notes to people near and far lately and I think I may make it a weekly feature. butttt, I HAVE tried that before... and obviously lacked the crucial motivation to keep it going, so we'll see. It could be lively. 

The people I'm writing to thank sometimes pop into my mind and I may still talk to them often, or may have cut ties them them many years ago- like the old friend below. 

Regardless, it just feels good to say what I have to say to them, whether or not they know it, so that's what I'm going to do. 

Here is letter numero uno:


Hey, Girl. It's been a minute.

I know if I saw you today on the street our meeting would go one of two ways. If you are by yourself and we bump into each other in line at H&M, or knowing you, Express, you'd do that thing where you act like no time has passed and you still tell me all your secrets and let me ride your coat-tales. If you're not alone, more specifically, if you're in the presence of anyone that knows us both, you'll probably pretend you don't see me and do that mean sideways-glance-loud-conversation thing that people of your social confidence do to make people like me feel small. I don't feel small often, but you could always take me there. I know now that even if I got the first version you'd probably just pump me for tiny scraps of useful/relevant/to your benefit information and then hang me out to dry the way you always used to.

But really, I promise, this letter isn't to cut you down. It may not appear this way, but I'm actually trying to thank you. Show gratitude, that's what I'm trying to do here.

You see, I learned a lot from you. A lot about people and a lot about myself. I'm very thankful for that.
So first of all, thanks for letting me into your world for a while. You seemed so glamorous in a way, so popular and charismatic. My own real-life Samantha, so worldly and outspoken about everything from your sexual exploits to everyone else's underbelly. Our flingfriendship was brief, under a year, but fairly deep. You were funny and confident and so comfortable with farting in public and always saying things like "God, I'm so good-looking," only half-jokingly. I loved that. I loved having a friend so strong and openly confident with herself, it was mesmerizing. Thanks for oozing self-confidence when it seemed like everything around me was insisting that no woman could possibly be good enough as-is. You were. I was. That felt good. Thank you, truly.

It took me a while to realize that you needed me at that time, too. You never made it seem that way. But you were always broke, your parents aren't worth a damn, and you didn't know anyone in the city where you'd moved and I happened to live. I still don't know why you moved there after the summer, other than someone offered you a free couch for three weeks that turned into two months. Really, it took me a while to see you for yourself and I'm partially to blame for getting scammed, I suppose. I didn't see at first that you were just trying to survive, that a person like you still gets lied to, cheated on, and deserted. All the people that meant the most to you were always letting you down and you were scrappy out of necessity. I'm not scrappy out of necessity, I do it to get what I want; maybe you do it simply to get what you need.

And you always seemed to have what you needed, but it must have felt precarious, sleeping on my couch for three months, living with your ex-boyfriend's parents the next six, crashing in wherever someone willing would take you- until the siren's summer song of the island brought us all back up for another go. It never occurred to me that you didn't like living that way, sliding in wherever you saw an opening. I thought you were an opportunist- turns out you're probably just a survivalist.

Thanks, though, girl for the shiney moments. We've got a fair amount. You'd take me to trendy places and I'd get polished and I'd take you to the second-hand shops so you could learn the joys of finding a perfectly-worn tee or that just-broken-in pair of Citizens at like a third of the cost. Thanks for helping me get (both) of my two extra jobs that year, I needed that money to live the way I like, and not the way you had to.

I look back fondly on nights where we'd drink bottles of wine and sit on the front porch and just talk. I was 21, and used to getting belligerent and stumbling home from parties by myself. It was good, better, than doing that. I don't miss you going crazy and logging into your ex's facebook every other night and getting hysterical, because I don't understand that way of coping. But I don't mind being the person you talked to about the way life had jarred you and hurt you. I've never told anyone your secrets. I know it meant something for you, even if it seems small and far away now.  You never would have taken a rando to your mother's run-down and filthy house. or your old job. The one where you'd had a fling with the married boss. You looked so small in those places. It was one of the saddest things I'd ever seen, seeing where you came from. I think I started realizing then that your mean was so much deeper in you than I'd ever go. Thanks for showing me that before I got caught in a web I couldn't walk away from, or more aptly, be forced from.

I never tried to come back or salvage any of our friendship and it's one of the decisions in my life that I value most, and I'm grateful you didn't try to keep luring me back in. I didn't need the hurt. You'll always be stuck in that sticky web of toxic people and I get to keep moving. So long as you're a part of that crowd, you and all of them will be jockeying for position, temporary alliances and quick fixes to deep-rooted issues. Thanks for showing me the way things really work, and for letting me walk away relatively unscathed. For as many times as my non-intentioned private words with you were twisted and passed on to less understanding ears.

 I don't hate you.

I don't anything you, except thank you, I guess.

You built me up in a way that not even could you could tear down.

Thanks, dear, for teaching me that I don't like stirring the rumor mill. Thanks for showing me that not all friendships are healthy, but that doesn't mean you can't grow as an individual from their rubble. I have.
I won't see you around. In fact, I can say with relative confidence that our paths will likely never cross again. You're probably still bartending somewhere in the city you fled back to and well, I like to avoid it if it all possible. Different strokes. It is funny, though, because I didn't take a lot away from the island where we met, but the few friendships I've kept from there are full of laughter and genuine caring- and none of us choose to keep in contact with you or your once-enticing circle of sharks. 

Thanks for everything, I really, truly, wish you the best. You always figure out a way to get it.

But I know the truth.

XO Sara